Weekly Musings #9 BHM #1 Larry Elder

Hello everybody, for the next four postings will feature a character profile of contemporary black public figures whose words, ideas, and beliefs have shaped, my understanding of blacks in America and race relations.  The title of this series is called BHM which means Black History Moment. My church back in Waycross, GA would honor a historical black figure every second Sunday of the month. One of the youths of the church would present a brief presentation on the life and accomplishment of a notable black figure in history. The format of this special series will be” The person’s personal life, accomplishments, and their impact on me.

The first person on this list is a person I had research and actually found out about him by accident. I never heard of this prolific person at all growing up in my community. I was shocked to find out his incredible life story and his many accomplishments. I was also surprised to learn of his cultural and political influence. The person I am referring to is Laurence Allen Elder better known as Larry Elder.

Personal Life

Elder was born in Pico-Union and South Central areas of Los Angelos on April 27, 1952. His father, his biggest influence, moved to Los Angelos after serving in the Marines as a cook in the Phillippines during WWII. While working several jobs to support his family, his father also attended night school to earn his GED. Elder’s father at 40 owned and operated a successful cafe in downtown Los Angelos for 30 years. On his radio show, he comments that his father lived,

a tougher life I have rarely come across. Yet he never hated, he was never bitter, he never condemned his circumstances, and he always said there are very few problems that cannot be solved through hard work”


Elder received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University and attended the University of Michigan, School of Law. After graduation, He opened Laurence A. Elder and Associates, a business specializing in recruiting experienced attorneys. He also hosted multiple television shows such as Moral Court and “The Larry Elder Show”.  He received an Emmy for “Best News Special” in 1999.  His PBS work “Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices from Black America.” on the “National Desk” series earned the 1998 AEGIS Award of Excellence,  and a 1999 Emerald City Gold Award of Excellence. He currently hosts the longest-running afternoon drive-time radio show in Los Angeles called “The Larry Elder Show,” known by his listeners as the “Sage From South Central,” he provides insight on the day’s most provocative issues. Elder has also established the Larry Elder Charities, a non-profit organization that contributes to groups and individuals offering non-government, self-help solutions to problems of poverty, crime, poor parenting, and education. Some of his notable books include The 10 Things You Can’t Say in America, Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests that Divide America, What’s Race Got to Do with It?, and his latest book Dear Father, Dear Son: Two Lives, Eight Hours. 

Impact on Me

I became aware of Larry Elder very recently as last year. I first engaged in his politics and views from  PragerU videos titled Is America Racist? and Black Fathers Matter. I later came across this influential person when he was interviewed by Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report. His thoughts and ideas were different from most other narratives regarding race and politics in public discourse. He boldly speaks values of personal responsibility, family values, and hard work as a means of success for blacks in culture and in the great conversation of race. I was able to find one of the few voices that openly reflected my developing understanding of the world and America specifically.

TL: DR. Larry Elder is a very influential speaker, thinker, and personality in the black community and he shows that there is a broad spectrum of intellectual diversity amongst the black community, that is rarely mentioned in my personal experience of discourse in politics.



About Larry Elder